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Growth of the early Internet, node by node

Network diagrams are a popular way of visualizing social and corporate relationships. Network theory has been used to model telecommunications performance and especially, the Internet. Communications networks increase in value as the number of connections increases. Metcalfe’s Law attempts to quantify the increased value.

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SHODAN related infosec assortment

I never attended DEFCON, though it remains a dream I hope to realize one day, soon. It may soon become too logistically awkward due to increasing numbers of attendees.

Shodan is a remarkable search engine. Traditional search engines use “spiders” to crawl websites. Shodan culls data from ports. It was created by John Matherly in 2007. He continues to develop it.

Shodan is helpful for locating web server vulnerabilities. It is available as a free service, for up to 50 searches. Query syntax includes searches by country, host name, operating system and port. Shodan can search for software AND hardware. It has been acknowledged by mainstream media. The most prominent coverage was in early June, via The Washington Post, when Stuxnet received so much press attention.

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Monetize Your Followers

As a statistician and mathematical modeling practitioner, I’m not a stranger to the concept of quantifying the value of intangibles.  In the ethical framework in which I studied and worked, such quantification might be applied to a concept such as negative dollar value of ill-will (per person) generated by denied boarding due to passenger aircraft over booking.  Yet I found myself rather unnerved today by TweetUp’s article today, How much is a follower worth?.  According to TweetUp analytics, the answer is $136.80, as of June 2010.

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Cutting corners on telecom infrastructure with Huawei

In January 2013, I wrote a blog post about Huawei’s twisty, winding path to prominence. There were plenty of oddities, e.g. Huawei was supplier to the Taliban and nearly acquired by GOP presidential Mitt Romney… but not a the same time!

Huawei is back in the limelight. Curiously, the problem is not one of Chinese state interference but of sloppy software development. I’ll get to that, but first, let’s take an illustrated tour of the Huawei story.

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Economic Models for Turbulent Times Part 2

Originally posted on November 20, 2011 at 4:28 AM 

A new research study has already received unusual attention. The Network of Global Corporate Control [PDF] discovers a relatively small group of multinational companies with disproportionate influence over the global economy. The authors, a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, are supposedly the first to empirically identify such a network.

The problem is approached using mathematical models designed for capturing behavior of complex natural systems. The study applies this methodology to a large data set of corporate information, to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs). Previous studies reported that a few TNCs drive much of the global economy. However, they analyzed fewer companies. Due to limited data availability and computing resources, past studies did not consider the effect of indirect ownership.

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Economic Models for Turbulent Times Part I

Originally Published on December 5, 2010 AT 7:58 AM

Crust is an algorithm for reconstructing surfaces of any topology. In other words, it is a computational method for digitally rendering any 2-D shape, using data in three-dimensional space as input.

Strange topology at MIT

Such methods garner a lot of attention these days. Here are a few reasons why: Graphical simulation models are increasingly needed for visualization and testing purposes in the field of particle physics. World of Warcraft and Second Life rely heavily on computationally intensive computer graphics, and scalable distributed systems. The U.S. economy is a highly complex system, partly guided by the results of mathematical models.

Crust was developed as a collaborative effort between two staff scientists at Xerox PARC and a researcher at MIT.

None of this happened recently. In fact, Crust hasn’t been semantically linked with the word “new” since its debut at the 1998 ACM SIGGRAPH Conference.

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Yet another academic plagiarism scandal: blockchains, medical research, and patents

One must be intrinsically motivated to be ethical and honest. Integrity cannot be imposed by peer review.

This is not another SFYL (sorry for your loss) tale of cryptocurrency scamming. That is merely a grace note. Academic plagiarism can happen, regardless of whether bitcoin, blockchains, or cryptocurrency are involved.

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In flagrante

Programmers cross swords

I caught this very amusing programmer contretemps, a Twitter pas de deux, a few days ago (maybe it was a little longer than that… hmmm, scarey, I hope I am not losing track of time). The central players were Zed Shaw and Ted Dzuiba ummm… I forgot how to spell his name. Some poor soul, the @centipedefarmer, got caught up in the middle of it, which is what I have tried to embed below.

@jamesiry good times tweetlibrary.com/18438475549889…— Jerry Chen (@jcsalterego) March 26, 2012

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Internet governance and assorted unrelated charts

The Internet Engineering Task Force Trust was created by the Internet Society, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Internet Engineering Task Force on December 15, 2005.

The purposes of the trust include the advancement of educational and public interest by acquiring, holding, maintaining and licensing certain existing and future intellectual property and other property used in connection with the Internet standards process and its administration, for the advancement of the science and technology associated with the Internet.

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Cartography of Second Life

Surprise! Cartography enthusiast and mapping patron David Rumsey was there too: Viewing Second Life.

I am Ellie Heartsdale. I owned a small corner plot of land on an island sim in the west. I built a little house there, for me and the piggies. I went to the Second Life synagogue, in Nessus, on Friday nights.

My father was still alive then. I was working for the State of Arizona, Department of Health Services, Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs, as chief research statistician. That was my title, “Research Statistician, chief”.

I was happy, but as usual, didn’t realize it at the time.

Maps